The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is inviting applications from foreign fintech startups to join an accelerator programme which will provide them with unrivalled access to leading companies in Japan’s financial sector.
The international outreach programme is part of the Government’s four-year ‘Global Financial City: Tokyo’ blueprint.
With fintech considered a key element in achieving its aims, TMG has launched a dedicated a dedicated accelerator, ‘Fintech Business Camp Tokyo’, which will seek to nurture up to ten foreign startups offering innovative technologies and business models “which do not yet have a presence in Japan”.
Startups accepted on to the programme, will be provided with support in finding office space, mentoring from top Japanese banks, and networking and business matchmaking exercises with Tokyo companies, including IT vendors and SMEs, and investors.
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The initiative, first launched in 2017, looks to encourage foreign companies to pioneer fintech solutions and business models not yet seen in Japan. Some of the advanced technologies the program cites as examples are AI, IoT, blockchain, VR/AR and robotics.
Fintech in Japan has not taken off with the same gusto as other regions of Asia. For examples, cashless payments have seen relatively slow uptake: in 2016, only 20% of payments were cashless.
The deadline for applications for the Fintech Business Camp is Friday 5 July. The winning applicants will be notified in August and the accelerator opens for business with an introductory seminar in late September/early October.